Our Danish correspondent TB pointed us to this July 31st editorial from Politiken by Morten Uhrskov Jensen, concerning the folly of the immigration policy crafted by Denmark’s educated elites. Zonka has kindly translated it into English for Gates of Vienna.
The newspeak of the educated classes and the failure of the Socialists
Denmark parted with a portion of its sovereignty when Parliament in 1983-2002 created the right to family reunions.
by Morten Uhrskov Jensen, Politiken
The Danish Dictionary for the People [Dansk Ordbog for Folket — translator] from 1907 gives the following definition of the word feeling: “an independent part of the life of the spirit, which is manifested through like or dislike, and which follows impressions or perceptions”.
Facing this it defines the word “fact” to mean something that “actually happened”, and the word “actually”, means “really based on facts”. I was reminded of these definitions when on Wednesday July 16 in Deadline I debated with Bjørn Elmquist about my book on Danish immigration politics in the period 1983 to 2008. I shall not elaborate on Bjørn Elmquist, but say only that he is an interesting character, as he is a representative of what we can call “the feeling” person.
Naturally, we’re all feeling people. When I’m interested in the history of Danish immigration policy, it is based on the fact that deep down I have some specific feelings about Denmark and what it means to be a Dane, and, as a consequence, how Denmark executes its immigration policy. This can actually be called “impressions or perceptions” as described in the dictionary from 1907. These impressions made me think ten years ago that Danish immigration policy was on the wrong track. My perceptions about Denmark and what it means to be a Dane indicated that too many people with very alien cultural backgrounds came to Denmark too quickly.
I could have let that be enough. I could have discussed the subject with friends and associates, and I could have written letters to the editor in which I voiced my concerns. But if I didn’t have any personal experiences to draw on, or if I hadn’t investigated the subject more closely, then it would have had to remain based on feelings.
I have gone through certain personal experiences and I have tried to follow the general debate on the subject in the written and electronic press. Thus I found something factual, “based on facts”. When I finished the work on my book Et delt folk [“A divided people” — translator], I had gone through a long list of sources which illuminated the politics as practiced from 1983 to 2008, as revealed in commission reports, in negotiations in Parliament, and not least through the debate in the press. Thus I have arrived at a state of having both feelings and facts, which revealed to me what a number of factual conditions looked like.
It was certainly not a pretty sight, what I saw through these sources. Here I shall briefly go through four of the conclusions I could reach at the end of the task, and a fifth that doesn’t directly follow from my book.
– – – – – – – – –
Firstly, it is incontrovertible that Denmark in 1983 parted with an essential portion of its sovereignty, since in this year it became a law that de facto refugees and reunited families had a judicial claim to residency in Denmark. “De facto refugees” is legalese with a rubber definition, since it simply said that “other weighty reasons” besides personal persecution can justify asylum. Denmark had no duty whatsoever to introduce this rule. Parliament did so anyway, and approximately 4,000 people a year got residency due to this legal claim during the period from 1983 to 2002, where Parliament abolished this rule.
The right to family reunions during the period from 1983 to 2002 resulted in approximately 200,000 residency permits. Up until 1992 the lower limit was 15 years (same as the age of consent), thereafter 18 years. The two legal claims in other words added just under 300,000 people to Denmark’s population, mostly from the Third World, most of these from Muslim countries. And again: these legal claims were the same as abolishing Danish sovereignty regarding Denmark’s right to make the sole decision on who would receive access to the country. That is the first fact.
Secondly there is Denmark’s relationship with international conventions. The actual condition is that Denmark is only bound by one thing — through our signature — not to immediately send people back to countries where it must be assumed that they risk torture. We are not required to give such persons residency, but we have chosen to say that we won’t send them back immediately. Denmark could also, in other words, abolish tomorrow the legal claim for [U.N.] convention refugees, a legal claim that has stayed in the immigration laws after the tightening of the laws in 2002.
But the fact was that a long string of opinion-makers throughout the 1980s and 1990s continued to claim that Denmark was either on the verge of breaching international conventions, or had even already breached them. That was never true — and it is perhaps necessary to repeat the word never — when the Center for Human Rights (today the Institute for Human Rights), Amnesty International, Danish Refugee Aid, Mellemfolkeligt Samvirke, or Danish Red Cross claimed the opposite. Each and every time they told the Danish public that Denmark would be considered a pariah if the immigration law was tightened too much, they were not telling the truth. That is the second fact.
Thirdly there are the consequences for the affected citizens as a result of massive immigration, in this case particularly the Danes, who lived and live in public housing. All things being equal, we’re talking about Danes who live in relatively the poorest social and economic conditions, and some of whom simply don’t have the financial means to move to another place. These Danes mostly found themselves represented by political parties like the Social Democrats or parties to the left of the Social Democrats. In the period from 1983 up until the elections in 2001, these Danes were systematically betrayed by the parties which traditionally claimed to represent this particular segment of voters. The Danes in public housing experienced alienation in their own local areas. This happened because cultural differences are more concrete in the local areas. These Danes felt in — if not their own bodies, even though that could certainly be the case — their own souls what it meant that the everyday routine wasn’t what it used to be, but instead was transformed into the navigation of an ever narrower tunnel, where the scope of action was increasingly was dictated by the newly arrived.
When I claim that the socially and financially poorest Danes were systematically betrayed by the parties who historically have claimed to speak for them, then the word systematically should be interpreted literally. If we exclude dissidents like then Home Minister Karen Jespersen and several of the mayors in the westernmost part of Greater Copenhagen, then there were was no help to be had from those who had once called themselves the working class parties. Not once did leading members of these parties fight for those Danes who carried the burden of the policy imposed. Instead again and again it was said that racism must be fought, that Danes had to learn to love diversity, and that progress, like a dispirited creature, was heading for the multicultural society. This betrayal of the poorest among the Danes is without any doubt the meanest part of the heritage that the left wing has to bear due to its disrespect for the Danes who didn’t have the possibility of escaping the fantasy of the multicultural society’s blessed bliss. That is the third fact.
Fourthly there is the defamation (libel — ed.) which was expressed against the people who dared to criticize the policy followed up until 2001. And let me just add that the there have also been incidents in the other direction, in the form of statements that I wouldn’t put my name to. But that doesn’t change the fact that the rudeness has been extremely unevenly divided. Allow me a reminder that the educate classes in Denmark, those who have the easiest access to the media — in what approximates a 10:1 share — have been behind the liberal immigration policy that was followed from 1983 until the election in 2001. The educated classes have been able to quibble amongst themselves, but they could uniformly agree on the immediate condemnation of the critics of immigration, and do so using some of the most horrific labels, such as fascism, Nazism, and racism. With the most horrible words in the language the opponents of mass immigration were to be shamed, and they had to understand that they were beyond the pale of all human debate. This libel is particularly infamous in a democracy. In a dictatorship, at least one knows to keep one’s mouth shut. But in a democracy, where opinions should be heard, it is a radical reinterpretation of the term public rule if certain opinions, which are shared by a large part of the electorate, are pre-emptively being ruled out. Then democracy becomes a matter of sensing which way the wind blows, and only then formulating an opinion.
To date it has not been possible to get the opinion-making elites to acknowledge this parade of rudeness. Most likely they believed in the purity of their hearts, and believed that it was only fair that they in their enlightenment had the right to use means which in any other context would be seen for what they really were: incipient totalitarianism. Not totalitarianism in full blossom — it never really succeeded — but the attempt to create another reality, a reality which wasn’t the result of human experience, but instead was an idea about the good, one that couldn’t be contested. The actual defaming of political opponents that took place and the denial of this is the fourth fact.
Fifthly, there is the view of the rest of Europe. One has to be equipped with tunnel vision not to be able to see a long string of European countries which in these years went through demographic and existential changes, changes that first and foremost hit the poorest Europeans. Sweden, when the difference in population is considered, has an incidence of rape that is five times higher than the Danish one. France has ghettos that makes the Danish ones look like cozy little co-ops. In the Netherlands it has become necessary once again to understand what political assassinations are.
The educated classes have no comments on this development. Or if they do, they use newspeak and talk about structural racism and socioeconomic conditions and about the European lower classes lacking the ability to see the shiny multicultural future that waits ahead. The educated classes have thus learned nothing, and nothing is forgotten. That is the fifth fact.
And lastly, about “the feeling person” — we have now come to the point where we can say that the critics of the immigration policy that Denmark has followed, and that a number of European countries continue to follow, have brought forward something factual, that is, something “real, based on facts”. And those who still claim that Denmark from 1983 to 2001 followed a responsible immigration policy — about them we must say that they continue to prefer feeling, which is “an independent part of the life of the spirit, which is manifested through like or dislike, and which follows impressions or perceptions”.